In a reply to an open letter from a member of parliament on why a series of anti-whaling ads were taken down months after the contract to run them had been signed, Isavia has admitted that they have no ethics regulations regarding ads – despite initial claims that the anti-whaling ads violated the non-existent regulations.
Isavia signed a summer-long contract with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to run anti-whaling ads at Keflavík International Airport – only to break that contract and pull the ads with little explanation. Among the reasons later given were that the ads violated Isavia’s ethics guidelines for advertising. They also claimed the IFAW tricked them, although the evidence indicates that this is false.
The row prompted Social Democrat MP Mörður Árnason to join the fray, who wrote an open letter to the company, asking “is something wrong with pointing out that in order to sell tourists whale meat for consumption, the whales need to be hunted and killed?” He then asked the company to explain what rules they have regarding ads in the airport, who decided the ads violated any of these rules, and which ones were broken.
Eyjan reports that in response to Mörður’s letter, Björn Óli Hauksson, the director of Isavia, says first of all that the company has no ethics regulations regarding ads in the airport. What he does say is that it is not typical of the airport to run ads expressing a political or religious opinion.
The question of who made the decision to pull the ads was not answered, nor did Isavia say they would compensate IFAW for breach of contract.
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